Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2013

Monthly Round-UpSince the start of The Bias List in January 2016, I’ve always looked back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists each month. Now, it’s time to look even further into the past, one month at a time. And, yes, the top three rankings count toward The Bias List’s personal artist scorecard!

May 2013 Overall Thoughts

Song for song, I think May 2013 has to be one of the strongest months in all of K-pop. Looking back, I couldn’t believe the number of classics that were released this month. We’re talking about many of my all-time favorite songs, which means some absolute legends were relegated to ‘honorable mentions’ status.

Let’s just talk about 2PM’s A.D.T.O.Y, EXO’s Wolf, Boyfriend’s On & On and VIXX’s Hyde. If released during almost any month in 2020, they’d easily be my favorite song. They’re all absolutely excellent, and deserve a place in the top three. Yet, there were three comebacks I loved even more during May 2013. What a killer K-pop era.

Speaking of killer, there were some real under-the-radar gems this month. LC9’s debut remains iconic, while boy groups Wonderboyz, N-Sonic and 100% each released some of their best material. Seo In Young delivered a gorgeous ballad, and Akdong Musician continued to tease their impending debut with some great CM/OST material. 2NE1’s CL made a convincing solo debut, while K-pop legend Lee Hyori returned in mega-successful fashion. This was really a golden age for the industry, wasn’t it?

Honorable Mentions

Akdong Musician – Bean Dduk Bing Soo (video)

Boyfriend – On & On (video)

CL – The Baddest Female (video)

EXO – Wolf (review)

Hello Venus – Would You Like Some Tea? (video)

LC9 – Mama Beat (video)

Lee Hyori – Bad Girls / Miss Korea (video / video)

N-Sonic – Lie (video)

Seo In Young – Let’s Break Up (video)

Skarf – Luv Virus (video)

VIXX – Hyde (video)

Wonderboyz – Tarzan (video)

100% – Want U Back (video)

2PM – A.D.T.O.Y / Come Back When You Hear This Song (video / video)


3. Nine Muses – Wild

2. Shinhwa – This Love

1. B1A4 – What’s Happening?


18 thoughts on “Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2013

  1. I joined K-pop in 2018 , so I am not sure what is the strongest month in all of kpop or whatever but When you told “Song for song, I think May 2013 has to be one of the strongest months in all of K-pop.” I was like “I’m listening.”

    I never pay attention to the dates so When I found out there were so many classics I was mind blown.

    My Personal Favorite is not that Hard: B1A4’s Peak , What’s Happening is just the best of their discography.

    2nd will follow Shinhwa’s This Love. This is my personal favorite Shinhwa title.

    3rd follows is My Personal Favorite Nine Muses Song.

    I know my Top 3 are filled with Peaks!

    Also , I saw your twitter , Seeing The Boyz past singles I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up as ” I am a cool bad boy , Wanna Know How I am a Cool Bad Boy? I came back at 6:02 pm , Even though my curfew was at 6:00 pm! I AM PART OF THE REBELLION NOW!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I’m so bad I don’t brush my teeth when I go to bed, bet you aren’t that cool”
      – every group that has gone angst (with exceptions of course)


  2. My personal top 3:

    1. 2PM – A.D.T.O.Y.
    Seductive and sultry R&B concept that matches the cringey yet effective sexiness the members exude through the chair choreo. It should be the blueprint for any boy group going down the sexy route, anticipating Stray Kids to do so in the years to come.

    2. Wild – Nine Muses
    Their iconic four comebacks in 2013 were nothing short of amazing. Whereas I prefer the more laidback 60s guitar riffs of Gun, Wild was objectively their strongest shot at reaching pop gold as it channels the melodicism of the 80s.

    3. B1A4 – What’s Happening?
    Jinyoung has never produced a bad song. What’s Happening? continues the joyful bright pop sound that B1A4 pioneered and executed best, no matter how hard Astro tried to replicate this. From this particular era the b-side Good Love is a staple.

    Wonder Boyz’ forward-thinking and slightly reggae-tingled Tarzan would round off the top 4. On the other hand, it’s been years and The Baddest Female plus Wolf still give me traumas. 😽


    • I knew you would be triggered by The Baddest Female and Wolf! Haha

      Honestly. I don’t know if I would have liked CL’s song had it been released this year, but it definitely captured me in 2013. And, I love Wolf for many of the same reasons I love SuperM’s 100. I am fully onboard for some over-the-top pop cheese.


  3. holy shit this month was stacked … because I love 2PM with all my heart I would put them at #1 lol though I wouldn’t be able to choose between ADTOY and Comeback When You Hear This Song
    1. ADTOY
    2. What’s Happening
    3. Wild


      • I didn’t love it at first (the mv in particular has some cultural appropriation thats a bit cringe +that dubstep breakdown used to throw me off) but the song really grows on you. I just put it back in my playlist recently as I’ve been really missing 2ne1/CL (+those earlier ggs like 4minute) It’s playful, its got good verses, overall a solid song.


  4. VIXX Hyde is number one for me. For some reason, I’ve never been a big fan of Shinhwa’s This Love, or any of their more recent songs actually. I don’t dislike them, but I like their SM-era songs much better.

    Btw, are you going to review Snowman’s new release? I really am not a big fan of the direction that SiXTONES and Snowman are taking (too much moody traps!); King & Prince have highs and lows, so thank God for Sexy Zone for being constantly good recently.


  5. Ahhh.. This Love. When ‘south american gay king’ was invented (aka Eric) xD This was when I started to get into Shinhwa, and I didn’t realize I was gonna stick with them forever 💖 This Love still holds Shinhwa’s Best Title from 2010’s!

    Anyways, you’re right about the this being the best month of 2013. However, overall 2013 is my second favorite K-pop year and this month’s honourable mentions and top three prove that!


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  7. Pingback: Looking Back: The Top Three K-Pop Songs of June 2013 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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